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Breaking Free: My Life with Dissociative Identity Disorder [Hardcover]

By Herschel Walker (Author)
Our Price $ 21.21  
Retail Value $ 24.95  
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Item Number 83059  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   256
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.3" Width: 6" Height: 1.2"
Weight:   1 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Apr 1, 2008
Publisher   Simon & Schuster
ISBN  1416537481  
EAN  9781416537489  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Herschel Walker is widely regarded as one of football's greatest running backs. He led the University of Georgia to victory in the Sugar Bowl on the way to an NCAA Championship and he capped a sensational college career by earning the 1982 Heisman Trophy. Herschel spent twelve years in the NFL, where he rushed for more than eight thousand yards and scored sixty-one rushing touchdowns.

But despite the acclaim he won as a football legend, track star, Olympic competitor, and later a successful businessman, Herschel realized that his life, at times, was simply out of control. He often felt angry, self-destructive, and unable to connect meaningfully with friends and family. Drawing on his deep faith, Herschel turned to professionals for help and was ultimately diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder, formerly known as multiple personality disorder.

While some might have taken this diagnosis as a setback, Herschel approached his mental health with the same indomitable spirit he brought to the playing field. It also gave him, for the first time, insight into his life's unexplained passages, stretches of time that seemed forever lost. Herschel came to understand that during those times, his "alters," or alternate personalities, were in control.

Born into a poor, but loving family in the South, Herschel was an overweight child with a stutter who suffered terrible bullying at school. He now understands that he created "alters" who could withstand abuse. But beyond simply enduring, other "alters" came forward to help Herschel overcome numerous obstacles and, by the time he graduated high school, become an athlete recognized on a national level.

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More About Herschel Walker

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Herschel Walker played professional football for the Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants, and Minnesota Vikings. He now owns a number of businesses, including a food service company, under the name Renaissance Man International. He lives in Dallas, Texas.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
If you're interested in the author it's likely a must read. It's lower on the list if you're main interest is the DID aspect.  Apr 18, 2010
I read this book for the DID aspect and not because it was written by a famous NFL star. I found his successes, despite his abuse and misfortune to be nothing less than extraordinary. He definitely puts a more positive representation of DID than other books I've read. He insists, and in fact demonstrates how his alters aided him in achieving his goals. Instead of being detrimental to his well being and causing physical harm in the form of self injury they help him withstand extreme childhood trauma and encourage him to overcome what may have been his physical limitation. They do go to the extreme in that they are able to ignore pain to the point of undergoing oral surgery with no anesthesia and playing a game with a dislocated shoulder; experiences that would be unbearably painful for the majority of individuals. His incredible discipline and resulting successes are however coupled with a darker and more harmful inability to connect with others on anything other than a guarded level as well as bouts of uncontrollable rage and conflicting voices. His story is undeniably interesting.

Unfortunately I found the writing to be average at best and the tone to be somewhat arrogant. The arrogance is contrary to his clearly stated aim to exclude any arrogance at all. His belief in God and Jesus are an innate part of his personality and he gives them credit for his drive to excel and subsequent financial stability. He claims to be frugal and to reject material extravagance; and yet there is a scene where he enters his garage and must press the unlock button on the keyless entry system to reveal to which of his several expensive vehicles the keys belonged. For me as a reader I could not reconcile these two completely opposing ideas. Either you reject materialism or you own several expensive and even rare automobiles.

I did read the entire book without giving up due to boredom or frustration with the writing, but it is not something I would recommend as a "good" book to read on the subject of DID. If you are a fan of Herschel Walker and interested in his life then I would have to say it is an enlightening and surprisingly revealing memoir and likely a must read.

In conclusion, if you're looking for a good representation of living with DID put this lower on your list. If it's Herschel Walker this books for you.
Breaking Free-Herschel Walker  Mar 19, 2010
Very good book! His story about how his disorder developed was quite interesting and was different from what most think of when they think of DID. It was well written and on a level that most could understand. However, while I understand that football was his life I feel that some people might be turned off when reading it because of the many many detailed accounts involving football. Overall I felt it was very good.
this book really disturbed me  Nov 22, 2009
I was really looking forward to this book, but was disappointed and disturbed by it. First of all, it's filled in "factual information" that is simply incorrect. At one point the author refers to DID and schizophrenia as personality disorders, and they are not. DID is a dissociative disorder, and schizophrenia is a psychotic disorder. At another point, he says that PTSD is the most widely known dissociative disorder. PTSD is not a dissociative disorder at all, it's an anxiety disorder. These distinctions may not seem important, but if you're going to attempt to explain mental disorders to the public, I think you should take the time to get your facts straight.

Then he talks about the treatment of DID and says that the goal of treatment is integration. Well, that may be his goal, but it's not "the goal." Some experts do think that people with DID need to integrate, but others think the goal of treatment should be communication and cooperation among the different alters. He also says that the patient and therapist are not equal partners in the treatment and that treatment should not be a democracy, that the therapist should be in charge. I find that appalling. The patient is the employer, hiring an employer, the therapist, to do a job for them. The patient is the one in charge, not the therapist.

Really, it seems he does not understand his condition very well. Which is OK, but if you don't understand it well, you probably shouldn't be writing a book trying to explain it to other people.

I was also confused because he stated that DID is always caused by severe child trauma, but then reported he had no severe childhood trauma. Yes, being bullied in school can be traumatic, but it doesn't usually cause DID. And he stated repeatedly that he grew up in a loving, supportive family, but when he described them, they didn't sound all that supportive. I was left wondering what things he left out or what things he is in denial about.
breaking free  Nov 2, 2009
I was so pleased to receive this book and its an inspiration for me to begin to read it. the wording is clear and its written in a way that for me who has D.I.D. can understand and get great comfort and encourgment to continue on my road to intergration and healing.thank you so much for herchels bravery in writting this book and give outreach for people like me.
Poorly written  Oct 19, 2009
A reader with any knowledge of DID will not get much out of this book. Facts are scant, as are the evidence of personalities he claims to have. Half of the book is about his success on the football field. A huge disappointment.

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